This Is What Nostalgia Feels Like

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It hits you all of a sudden: that urge to soak in every ounce of your surroundings and rehearse it all to memory.  You make conscious prediction that someday you’re going to want to remember what it felt like to be here in such a wonderfully easy moment.  You revel in the simplicity of it all as you temporarily let your brain stray away from the conversation and the words directed at you to notice.  Notice the sights; notice the smells; notice the sounds.

The tables, bearing their ugly worn shades of yellow with unflattering striped designs, stand scattered in semi-rows.  Dozens of maroon plastic chairs pushed haphazardly are strewn throughout the large space as well.  Outside the windows to your right, the slowly darkening sky hints at the end of yet another weekend as the dinnertime crowd mingles among the battered furniture.  There was an air of comfort in the room – light chatter surrounding the tables of friends, quieter sounds lingering near those too engrossed in their technologies to care for conversation.  It’s simplicity.

You feel your hand slowly gravitate towards your Diet Coke as you realize your mouth is still burning from that last bite you took minutes ago.  The hot sauce from your buffalo wrap left a steady blaze along your tongue, making its way up to your nose and causing you to sniffle.  You’ve been faithfully eating this go-to meal forever and still can’t seem to figure out why you like it, and that burn, so much.  “Try something different,” people always joke, “you always eat the same thing.”  But you know better than to order something worse than the absolute best and you’ve stuck to your guns with your all-time favorite.  It’s consistency.

“I just don’t know what to say to him anymore,” says the familiar face across the table.  Perched in her own maroon chair eating her own wrap, you realize that muffled hum you’ve heard subconsciously was actually a stream of words directed at you and a response is now needed.  You stumble through a reply, hoping it will suffice, and can’t help but feel a deep ping of guilt for not paying better attention during this casual dinner date.  Come a few weeks, this stage in your lives will be coming to an end, meaning a conclusion to your career as a duo of everyday mayhem.  You can’t help but smirk and shake your head at the relationship as roommates and friends.  It’s dependency.

Simplicity.  Consistency.  Dependency.  With one last deep breath you allow yourself to soak in the fact that you are such a small part of this softly buzzing room.  You realize that this moment, this spot in space and time, is just one small part of the story you’ll have to tell in this life.  You stop and think before investing in external conversation for good: it may only be one small part, but damn is it a sweet one. TC mark

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